Some brothers had brought a film about the events of the Revolution to France, and suggested that we ask Imam to watch this film after dinner. I went and asked Imam: “Dinner is ready, shall I bring it?” Imam looked at his watch and said: “There are 10 minutes left until dinner time.”
The hours of Imam’s day and night had been divided in such a way that without seeing him, we could say that right now, he is busy in what work.1
Marzieh Hadide Chi (Dabagh)
The order in the arrangement of Imam’s life in Paris even had an effect on the work and timetable of the French police. From inside Imam’s house, I once saw from one of the room windows that the door of Imam’s house had still not opened yet, but they (the police) had gotten out of their car to see the Imam off (knowing the Imam would leave the house at this time).
The police mentioned several times to some brothers that if their watches were sometimes behind or in front, they could get the correct time from the punctuality with which Imam said his prayers; this was very strange for them.2
Marzieh Hadide Chi (Dabagh)
On Christmas day, Imam gave a message to all the Christians of the world that the news agents broadcast. As well as this message, he told us to distribute gifts to the residents of Neauphel-le Chateau. These were usually Gaz (a type of confectionary), Aajeel (dried nuts or seeds or fruits) and Shireeni (sweet items) that some brothers had brought from Iran. We carried this out and next to each package, we placed a flower stem.
In the places we went to, we sensed that many in the West were not familiar with this kindness and love, even between fathers and their children, They felt it very strange that the night of the birth of the Prophet of the Christians, a non-Christian Iranian leader was so close to them and felt love for them. For example there was a woman who, when she took the Imam’s gift, was so overcome that tears rolled down her face.3
Hujjatul Islam Ali Akber Muhtashami
The love and attachment of the Imam towards the Imams (as) was of a specific characteristic of his. The 9th day of Muharram (Islamic month in which the martyrdom of the Imam Husayn (as) is commemorated), Agha Ishraqi came to me and said: “Imam has said that you should prepare to recite masaib when he comes out an hour before Dhuhr.” Then Imam gave the following message: “Tell so-and-so I want this very masaib and this very masaib should be recited.”
From this I sensed that firstly, the attachment that Imam has for the Imams (as) is not subject to conditions. Secondly, that he respects the environment, country and ceremonies of the country that he is fighting for, as well as the ceremonies and customs that are part of Islam and that the Muslims have lived with for more than 1000 years. He is seeking those very ceremonies even though he is in Paris and the heart of the Western land.
On that day, there was a large crowd. Many reporters had also come to prepare their news reports. Imam, who was very sorrowful, came at 11 o’clock in the morning. I sat next to him. He indicated to me to recite the masaib and I started. For those people who had come to see the Imam from all over the world and for those from Western countries, this was very unexpected.
Although Imam had the Shah and America against him, on the 9th day of Muharram, he sat and cried for Imam Husayn (as). Nobody can ever fully comprehend this.4
Hujjatul Islam Muhtashami
One day in Paris, there was a phone call from the Welcoming Committee from Tehran. I was in charge of the office and telephone of the Imam. It was Martyr Dr. Beheshti, who said: “For the entrance of Imam we have arranged a programme; tell the Imam that we will carpet the airport, decorate it with lights, we will go between the airport to Behesht-e-Zahra (as) by helicopter and …”
When I told the Imam this, he, according to his habit of always of listening carefully to the person who is speaking and then replying, after listening to me carefully, with his particular decisiveness and clearness said:
“Go and tell the men that do they want to make Cyrus5 enter Iran? This is not necessary at all! A student has left Iran and that same student is returning to Iran. I want to be among my people and go with them, even if I get trampled upon.”6
Hujjatul Islam Firdosi Pur